A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. If a player is out for the season, he will be removed and everyone below him will move up a spot. Removing these guys doesn’t mean they have lost prospect status. It is just an attempt to get 30 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the 2016 prospect guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.
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1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
4. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates – In the Majors
5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
6. Harold Ramirez, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]
7. Reese McGuire, C, Altoona -[insert_php]
8. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – Disabled List.
9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List
10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
11. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php]
12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]
13. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
15.Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php]
16. Chad Kuhl, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
17. Max Moroff, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
18. Mitch Keller, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
19. Clay Holmes, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
21. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
22. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php]
23. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]
24. Trevor Williams, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
25. Gage Hinsz, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php]
26. Adrian Valerio, SS – Extended Spring Training
27. Adam Frazier, INF/OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
28. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php]
29. Jordan Luplow, OF/3B, Bradenton – [insert_php]
30. JT Brubaker, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]
Austin Meadows had a memorable Triple-A debut in a 5-4 win from Indianapolis. He picked up three hits, including his ninth triple of the season, and he drove in two runs. Meadows got the first hit right away, putting a single between the first baseman and the second baseman in the first inning. That was followed by an infield single in the fourth, as he used his speed to beat out a slow grounder to shortstop, which brought home Gift Ngoepe. In the eighth, he tacked on an insurance run, by bringing home Alen Hanson on a line drive triple to right field. Hanson had walked and stolen his 17th base of the season prior to the hit. For Meadows, he has now picked up hits in 25 straight games, and he has 25 extra-base hits during that streak.
Trevor Williams started the game and had a decent outing, allowing one earned run over 5.1 innings, with five hits, three walks and three strikeouts. He threw 93 pitches, with 56 for strikes, and he had a 6:4 GO/AO ratio. Williams has a 4.73 ERA through six starts with Indianapolis.
Kyle Lobstein followed with two perfect innings, striking out three batters. Justin Masterson then tried to close it out, but he needed Dovydas Neverauskas to come on for the final out. Masterson allowed one run on three hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. In his second game with Indianapolis, Neverauskas got the save by stranding two runners with a strikeout.
Josh Bell hit his tenth home run of the season, which is his highest total since 2013 when he hit 13 homers for West Virginia. Max Moroff had a single, an RBI and a run scored. Adam Frazier went 0-for-4, but he still has a large lead for the International League batting title with his .339 average.
ALTOONA, PA – The Curve offense broke out in the eighth inning by putting up a seven spot, and Altoona beat Hartford by a score of 11-3 on a beautiful Saturday night in western Pennsylvania. The Curve scored four runs against Hartford’s starter German Marquez, with three of those in the fourth inning thanks to three singles and a 2-RBI double to center by Erich Weiss. Marquez allowed 11 hits to Curve batters, but he did a good job at minimizing damage and keeping the run count low before he was pulled.
The Curve were up 4-3 going into the eighth before scoring seven runs in the frame, capped off by a triple over the center fielder’s head by Anderson Feliz and a three-run bomb by Eric Wood. That was Wood’s seventh home run of the season, which is a team high and his own single-season high.
Altogether, Altoona had 17 hits, a season high.
The best hitter of the night was Jose Osuna, who went 4-for-4 with an RBI-double and a walk, reaching base all five times he went to the plate. He has now reached base in seven straight plate appearances going back to his 2-for-2 performance on Friday night when he entered as a pinch-hitter. Osuna was used in the lead-off spot on Thursday by Curve Manager Joey Cora as a way to try to get his bat going. Osuna has been struggling with runners in scoring position, so they wanted to try something different, Cora said. He was back in his normal spot tonight and obviously performed well. I also took note of a perfectly executed hit-and-run by Osuna in the bottom of the first. With the runner moving, he poked a base hit to the gap that just opened on the right side, and the runner moved to third after the hit.
In his Double-A debut, Kevin Newman recorded his first hit in Altoona in the fourth inning – a line drive single to right field. He then added another line drive single to left field in the eighth inning, giving him a 2-for-5 night. Newman led off for the Curve and played shortstop. (Interestingly enough, Newman wore Tyler Eppler’s #36 jersey, as the Curve wore special uniforms to honor cancer survivors, and Eppler was in the stands keeping track of pitches tonight.)
Five Curve batters had two hits apiece, and Weiss, Osuna, Wood, and Feliz all had an extra base hit. Altoona went 7-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
On the pitching side, Brandon Waddell got his eighth Double-A start tonight. He was very much in need of a good start, as he was 1-2 with a 9.95 ERA in his previous three starts. Luckily for Waddell, he was saved from more damage to his scorecard by Jhondaniel Medina entering the game in the fifth with the bases loaded and getting out of the jam unscathed. The biggest problem for Waddell has been his control, as he walked seven batters tonight.
Waddell threw 89 pitches with 46 of them being balls. The lone damage to his boxscore was a two-run home run earlier in that fifth inning on a 77 MPH curveball that he left up in the zone. Otherwise, Hartford didn’t really hit Waddell much, but that may have been because they really didn’t have anything good to hit. The seven walks that Waddell allowed are easily a professional high for the pitcher, who was known as someone with great control before his last month in Altoona. To put it in perspective, Waddell only allowed two walks combine in all five of his starts in Bradenton before being promoted.
After the game, Curve Manager Joey Cora was assuring that Waddell is healthy and his velocity is still the same, but he has simply struggled mightily with control of late. Waddell made three pretty good starts for the Curve when he was first promoted, but he has not looked good since.
In a same story, different day kind of line, Curve relievers were fantastic again after the starter left the game. Medina did allow a run in the sixth inning, but he was fantastic with the bases loaded when he initially entered. Brett McKinney threw two scoreless innings, striking out three batters, and Josh Smith threw a scoreless ninth, striking out a pair. -Sean McCool
Bradenton has off until Monday for the All-Star break.
CHARLESTON, WV – While the Charleston RiverDogs chose the more traditional route to runs (a pair of home runs), the West Virginia Power opted for the path of most resistance. The Power’s first run opportunity fizzled when Ke’Bryan Hayes attempted to score from second on a Carlos Munoz single. Hayes stopped short of home plate and was tagged in a lackluster display. Logan Ratledge replaced Hayes shortly afterward.
In the fourth inning, down a run after Bret Helton allowed his first homer of the game, Casey Hughston crushed a double to the left-center gap with two runners on. Logan Ratledge easily came around to score, but the left fielder gunned down Carlos Munoz, the slowest offensive player on the team, as he tried to slide into home.
In the fifth, Helton allowed a second home run to make the score 3-1. In the bottom half of the inning, things delved further into insanity. Logan Hill walked and stole second to lead off the inning. John Bormann, the backup catcher who holds a 21-game on-base streak, drove a slicing ball past first. The ball appears to roll through the center tube of the tarp, and it came to a rest in fair territory in right field. The RiverDog right fielder could not locate the ball, and Bormann logged the first home run of his career.
Helton pitched into the seventh inning, matching his longest start of the year with six and two-thirds pitched. His control diminished significantly from inning to inning, and he walked three in his last three innings. He exited with the bases loaded, but Tanner Anderson notched a quick strikeout.
Anderson stayed on to finish out the eighth and ninth innings, giving up only one hit in the process. The Power entered the bottom of the ninth tied 3-3. Carlos Munoz and Casey Hughston hit back-to-back one-out singles to start the rally, but Ryan Nagle and Logan Hill struck out to send the game to extras.
Both teams squandered chances in the tenth and eleventh innings, but in the bottom of the twelfth, Mitchell Tolman drove a two-out double to the gap. Logan Ratledge fought off several pitches before landing a dribbler in shallow right to win the game.
Tanner Anderson and Cesilio Pimentel combined for six innings of two-hit relief. In fact, despite the Power’s recent struggles, the bullpen has been extremely effective. In the last five games, including tonight, the relievers have put together the following line:21 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 22 K. – Abigail Miskowiec
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Morgantown won 3-1 behind the strong pitching from James Marvel in his pro debut. Marvel was drafted out of Duke last year in the 36th round, despite missing the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery. He signed for an over-slot $150,000 bonus and the Pirates took over his rehab process. On Saturday night, he went six shutout innings, and he needed just 64 pitches to get through his night. Marvel allowed three base runners all game, with two singles and a hit batter. He struck out five and had a terrific 9:1 GO/AO ratio.
This game also included another pitching comeback. Adrian Grullon pitched his first game since July 12, 2014. Grullon is a 6’7″ righty, who was considered a sleeper prospect at that time, but Tommy John surgery caused him to miss the rest of the 2014 season and all of last year. In two innings tonight, he allowed a run on two hits, while striking out four batters.
The Black Bears got their first run on a stolen base of home by Ty Moore in the sixth inning. That was followed by two runs in the eighth. Albert Baur singled home Sandy Santos, then scored on a triple by Jordan George. Matt Diorio and Jordan George each had two hits. You can view the Morgantown season preview here.
The DSL Pirates had a breakout game on offense on Saturday, then held on for an 11-10 victory over the Yankees1. The Pirates came into the game with a .199 team batting average and put up 16 hits, with six players collecting multi-hit games. Jeremias Portorreal led the way with three hits and he drove in three runs. Francisco Mepris had three hits and an RBI. Samuel Inoa had two hits and drove in two runs, while Rudy Guzman and Eddy Vizcaino each had two hits and an RBI. Guzman also had two outfield assists. The Pirates now have a 4-9 record and they’re still waiting for their first home run. That’s not quite as bad as it sounds. Six teams haven’t homered yet and another four have just one home run.
I’ve focused on Rodolfo Castro a few times already because he’s having such a good season so far, and because he’s the youngest player on the team. He turned 17 less than two weeks before the season started. Castro continued his early-season torrid pace, going 2-for-3 in this game, with a sacrifice fly and a HBP. He scored three runs and drove in a pair. Castro has a .517 average and hits in all eight games, as well as seven extra-base hits. The problem so far is his defense at shortstop, which has seen him make seven errors already.
Starting pitcher Yeudry Manzanillo had a very rough outing, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits and three walks in 2.1 innings. The bullpen was solid the rest of the way, with three pitchers combining for two runs over the last 6.2 innings.